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Cromwell, need not be repeated anywhere except in the nursery.
Cromwell entered Glasgow on Friday evening; over Sunday, was patient with Zachary Boyd: but got no result out of Ker and Strahan. Ker and Strahan, at Dumfries on the Thursday, have perfected and signed their Remonstrance of the Western Army;' a Document of much fame in the old Scotch Books. Expressing many sad truths,' says the Kirk Committee. Expressing, in fact, the apprehension of Ker and Straban that the Covenanted King may probably be a Solecism Incarnate, under whom it will not be good to fight longer for the Cause of Christ and Scotland ;--expressing meanwhile considerable reluctancy as to the English Sectaries ; and deciding on the whole to fight them still, though on a footing of our own. Not a very hopeful enterprise! Of which we shall see the issue by and by. Meanwhile news come that this Western Army is aiming towards Edinburgh, to get hold of the Castle there. Whereupon Cromwell, in all haste, on Monday, sets off thitherward ; 'lodges the first night in a poor cottage fourteen miles from Glasgow ;' arrives safe, to prevent all alarms. His first visit to Glasgow was but of two days. ,
The Western Colonels have given-in their Remonstrance to the Committee of Estates ; and sat in deliberation on their copy of Cromwell's Expostulatory Letter to that Body, the Letter we have just read, -in which these two words, 'security' and satisfaction,' are somewhat abstruse to the Western
Dated 17 October ; given in Balfour, iv. 141-60.
Colonels. They decide that it will not be convenient to return any public Answer ; but they have forwarded a private Letter of acknowledgment with Six Queries :' Letter lost to us ; Six Queries still surviving. To which, directly after his return to Edinburgh, here is Cromwell's Answer. The Six Queries, being very brief, may be transcribed ; the Letter of acknowledgment can be conceived without transcribing :
"Query:1. Why is "satisfaction” demanded ? 2. What is the satisfaction demanded? 3. For what is the “security": • demanded? 4. What is the security ye would have? 5. • From whom is the security required? 6. To whom is the
security to be given??l_Queries which, I think, do not much look like real despatch-of-business in the present intricate conjuncture!
This Letter, it appears, is, if not accompanied, directly followed by Mr. Alexander Jaffray Provost of Aberdeen, and a · Reverend Mr. Carstairs' of Glasgow, two Prisoners of Oliver's ever since Dunbar. Drove, who are to "agent the same.2
• To Colonel Strahan, with the Western Army: These.'
Edinburgh, 25th October, 1650.
I have considered of the Letter and the Queries; and, having advised with some Christian friends about the same, think fit to return an Answer as followeth:
• That we bear unto the Godly of Scotland the same Christian affection we have all along professed in our Papers ; being ready, through the grace of God, upon all occasions, to give such proof and testimony thereof | Balfour, iv. 135.
· Baillie, iii, 120.
as the Divine Providence shall minister opportunity to us to do. That nothing would be more acceptable to us to see than the Lord removing offences, and inclining the hearts of His People in Scotland to meet us with the same affection. That we do verily apprehend, with much comfort, that there is some stirring of your bowels by the Lord; giving some hope of His good pleasure tending hereunto: which we are most willing to comply with, and not to be wanting in anything on our part which may further the same.
And having seen the heads of two Remonstrances, the one of the Ministers of Glasgow, and the other of the Officers and Gentlemen of the West, we do from thence hope that the Lord hath cleared unto you some things that were formerly hidden, and which we hope may lead to a better understanding. Nevertheless, we cannot but take notice, that from some expressions in the same Papers, we have too much cause to note that there is still so great a difference betwixt us as we are looked upon and accounted as Enemies.
And although we hope that the Six Queries, sent by you to us to be answered, were intended to clear doubts and remove the remaining obstructions; which we shall be most ready to do: yet, considering the many misconstructions which may arise from the clearest pen (where men are not all of one mind), and the difficulties at this distance to resolve doubts and rectify mistakes, we conceive our Answer in Writing may not so effectu
* Remonstrance of the Western Army is this latter ; the other, very conceivable as a kind of codicil to this, is not known to me except at socond-hand, from Baillie's eager, earnest, very headlong and perplexed account of that Business (iv, 120, 122, et seqq.).
ally reach that end, as a friendly and Christian Conference by equal persons might.'
And we doubt not we can, with ingenuity and clearness, give a satisfactory account of those general things held forth in the Letter sent by us to the Committee of Estates, and in our former Declarations and Papers ; which we shall be ready to do by a Friendly Debate, when and where our answer to these particulars may probably tend to the better and more clear understanding betwixt the Godly Party of both Nations.
To speak plainly in a few words: If those who sincerely love and fear the Lord amongst you are sensible that matters have been and are carried by your State so as that therewith God is not well pleased, but the Interest of His People 'is' hazarded, in Scotland and England, to Malignants, to Papists, and to the Profane, —we can, through Grace, be willing to lay our bones in the dust for your sakes; and can, as heretofore we have said,' still continue to say, That, not to impose upon you in Religious or Civil Interests, not dominion nor any worldly advantage, 'not these,' but the obtaining of a just security to ourselves, were the motives, and satisfactions to our consciences, in this Undertaking • A just security ;' which we believe by this time you may think we had cause to be sensible was more than endangered by the carriage of affairs with your King. And it is not success, and more visible clearness to our consciences arising out of the discoveries God hath made of the hypocrisies of men, that hath altered, or 1 Letter CL.
36 securing ourselves' in orig.
can alter,' our principles or demands. But we take from thence humble encouragement to follow the Lord's providence in serving His Cause and People; not doubting but He will give such an issue to this Business as will be to His glory and your comfort.
There followed no · Friendly Debate' upon this Letter; nothing followed upon it except new noise in the Western Army, and a straitlaced case of conscience more perplexing than ever. Jaffray and Carstairs had to come back on parole again; Strahan at length withdrew from the concern: the Western Army went its own separate middle road, -to what issue we shall see.
Here is another trait of the old time; not without illumination for us. "One Watt, a tenant of the Earl of Tweedale's, • being sore oppressed by the English, took to himself some of • his own degree ; and, by daily incursions and infalls on the • English Garrisons and Parties in Lothian, killed and took
of them above Four-hundred,' or say the half or quarter of so many, “and enriched himself by their spoils.' The like • did one Augustin, a High-German,' not a Dutchman, 'being • purged out of the Army before Dunbar Drove,' — of whom we shall hear farther. In fact, the class called Mosstroopers begins to abound; the only class that can flourish in such a state of affairs. Whereupon comes out this
• Clarendon State-Papers (Oxford, 1773), ii. 551-2.